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Where should I bring a food lover visiting Brooklyn?

monikamost Jan 13, 2010 04:43 PM

Hello,
A good friend of mine is visiting me from out of town this weekend, and we all love food. I want to bring him to some really great, truly Brooklyn restaurants. We are all not picky and are willing to travel to many areas. If you had a friend visiting you, where is the ONE place you'd want to take them to eat? Special consideration to French, American and Indian food, as those are favorites. We'll be coming from Greenpoint if that changes anything... Which it might because the G is down all weekend. I have some ideas, but I want the food to really be impressive so I am crowd-sourcing the search.
Thanks in advance!

  1. d
    Daniel76 Feb 1, 2010 07:26 AM

    I think that Peter Pan Donuts is my new favorite place in Brooklyn

    1 Reply
    1. re: Daniel76
      monikamost Feb 3, 2010 07:10 PM

      peter pan donuts is indeed wonderful; in the summertime they have donut ice cream sandwiches. they're amazing.

    2. monikamost Jan 20, 2010 05:29 PM

      we ended up going to spuyten duyvil, le barricou, habitat, lomzynianka, brooklyn kitchen and pencil factory. The G being down really did a number on my plans for a park slope or cobble hill venture, but I am sure he'll be back... this was really helpful for me as a brooklyn-er though, as i've been wondering what i am missing out on living here. i am just waiting for an excuse to go to al di la and i have been researching southern and caribbean food ever since it started getting cold out... thanks so much for the thoughtful responses!

      1 Reply
      1. re: monikamost
        g
        Geo8rge Jan 24, 2010 01:10 PM

        Have you considered a bicycle? It is like 1hr of more or less casual riding from Williamsburg to Park slope. The NYDOT has a nice bike map.

      2. w
        wonka Jan 20, 2010 09:54 AM

        I really enjoyed Saul....especially for a foodie.....2nd...like the feel, but a bit loud would be Dressler,..also like James....in that order.

        1. Scagnetti Jan 20, 2010 08:23 AM

          Try Downtown Atlantic. Funky nabe with an eclectic crowd.

          Downtown Atlantic
          364 Atlantic Avenue
          Brooklyn, NY 11217-1703
          (718) 852-9945

          http://www.downtownatlantic.com/

          -----
          Downtown Atlantic
          364 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

          1. d
            designnerd Jan 20, 2010 07:12 AM

            Tanoreen in Bay Ridge. They just moved from a small storefront to a large beautiful new restaurant. Be sure to make a reservation, we showed up last Saturday at 6pm without and they would not seat our party of four.

            Best Middle Eastern in New York City: the food is beautifully presented, fresh, a huge variety of appetizers and entrees that you've probably never experienced.

            If you aren't willing to venture all the way to Bay Ridge, some other favorites include No. 7 in Fort Greene, The Farm on Adderley (Ditmas Park), Flatbush Farm (near Park Slope) and of course Frankie's 457 in Carroll Gardens.

            1. bigmackdaddy Jan 18, 2010 12:46 PM

              David's Brisket House on Nostrand & Herkimer. They make delicous corned beef, and pastrami sandwiches. They also have the best brisket in NYC, IMO.

              Saratoga Country Kitchen on Atlantic Ave. & Saratoga. Nice, greasy fried southern food. Love their fried pork chops and fried chicken.

              I'll fifth Al Di La.

              New Spring Garden Restaurant on 65th Street between 9th and 10th Aves. Possibly the best dim-sum in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

              BKLYN Larder on Flatbush Ave bet. Bergen and 6th Ave, and Caputo's Fine Foods on Court St. by 4th Pl, for provisions, such as meats, cheese, prepared foods and bread.

              I'm going to also say Tommaso Restaurant on 86th Street by 14th Ave and Bay 8th Street. People either love this place or hate it. I am of the former.

              B&H Kosher Bagel Hole on Coney Island Ave. bet. J &K for the best bagels in Brooklyn.

              Avoid Junior's, except for their breakfast, and Nathan's, except for their fries. DiFara does indeed have delicious pizza, but you will probably wait for close to an hour for your slice/s.

              1. monikamost Jan 15, 2010 01:33 PM

                Thanks so much guys! The G being down is really cramping my style. Two things I didn't mention before: Most Brooklyn Brunch and Fun Bars.
                All your suggestions look wonderful!

                3 Replies
                1. re: monikamost
                  Asumnuthin Jan 18, 2010 04:58 AM

                  I am always a fan of diamond bar.... and you dont need to G for that

                  1. re: monikamost
                    d
                    dhs Jan 18, 2010 07:57 AM

                    Dumont, Diner in billyburg do good brunches (make res at Dumont, not sure about Diner)

                    Barcade is fun every once in a while if you enjoy 80's video games
                    Diamond as well but it is a beer/wine only joint
                    The Richardson is my favorite bar in the area but I don't know if it ranks on the Fun-O-Meter, just a good cocktail bar.

                    1. re: monikamost
                      CalJack Jan 18, 2010 09:29 AM

                      If you don't mind venturing down to the southside of williamsburg, brunch at Diner offers a nice glimpse of *new brooklyn* - the diffident hipster vibe is of course palpable, though not detrimentally so, imo.

                      I'd second recommendations for Al Di La, Applewood, Franny's, and Marlow & Sons, but again these are all more aligned with Brooklyn's recent gentrification than with the neighborhood's traditional roots. For a hint of South Brooklyn neighborhood warmth, Lucali is absolutely worth the trip (G service be damned), but get there before 6:15 and/or call ahead to put your name on the list and get an idea of the wait. Likewise with Di Fara, but the setting is much less inviting if you're planning to eat in.

                      Given that a "fun bar" is about as subjective of a classification as you'll find from one person to the next, take the following recommendations with a healthy dose of follow-up research:
                      Williamsburg/Greenpoint:
                      - Lucky Dog (great draught beer selection, free shuffleboard)
                      - Larry Lawrence (lively late night scene, stunning design)
                      - The Woods (bonus points for the authentic Mexican food cart in the backyard
                      - Diamond Bar (seconded)

                      Elsewhere in Brooklyn:
                      - Bar Great Harry (Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens)
                      - Floyd (Cobble Hill, indoor Bocce)
                      - Sunny's (Red Hook, and only if you're willing to go to the ends of the Earth/ends of the B61-B62 line for a truly raucous time).

                      Hope this helps more than it hurts.

                      EDIT - just saw dhs' recommendation for Diner above, and I agree, in case that's not obvious.

                      -----
                      Lucali
                      575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                      Al Di La
                      248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                      Marlow & Sons
                      81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                      Applewood
                      501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

                      Larry Lawrence
                      295 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                      Bar Great Harry
                      280 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                    2. g
                      Geo8rge Jan 15, 2010 08:43 AM

                      caribbean - www.sugarcanerestaurant.com

                      For french there are a cluster around Atlantic Avenue.
                      http://jolierestaurant.com/ www.bartabacny.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Geo8rge
                        b
                        BklnChicken Jan 15, 2010 03:17 PM

                        Neither Jolie nor Bar Tabac have very good food. Nice places in their own rights, but not food destinations.

                      2. b
                        BklnChicken Jan 14, 2010 03:48 PM

                        Saul has impeccable food, but not much Brooklyn flava. Easily accessible from the Bergen Street F/G station. Reservations strongly advised.

                        One stop down on the F/G line (Carroll) takes you nearer to The Grocery, an excellent choice. The menu is more daring than Saul's, with sometimes uneven results. Reservations strongly advised, but they keep a table for two available for drop-ins.

                        Juniors and Sam's have a lot of Brooklyn "flavor," but IMO that flavor is repulsive (Juniors cheesecake excepting). Frankie's 457 is also has a strong Brooklyn flavor, but that flavor is one of long waits.

                        If you want great Italian, you can't go wrong with Al di La in Park Slope. You'll have to take a car over there -- live a little! No reservations accepted, so go early. Look on these boards for recommended dishes.

                        Happy eating!

                        1. p
                          pookie77 Jan 14, 2010 02:37 PM

                          Marlow & Sons but Lucali if the G train was running.

                          1. p
                            Pookipichu Jan 14, 2010 07:58 AM

                            There is no good Indian restaurant in Brooklyn, oddly enough. There are serviceable ones, but none that rise to even the level of good.

                            French cuisine is not Brooklyn's strength either. Your best bet is upscale American out of the three.

                            Saul - Excellent American food with the freshest ingredients and beautiful presentation.

                            Grocery - In a similar vein, seasonal produce, American cuisine prepared exquisitely. The presentation is a tad better at Saul, and the dining room is much more spacious at Saul.

                            Both restaurants are wonderful.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Pookipichu
                              hambone Jan 14, 2010 01:20 PM

                              Agree on Saul. Great tasting menu!

                              Also love Applewood in South Slope. (Get the lobster bisque.) Can't argue with Peter Luger's.

                              Depending on the friend... Sam's Chop House on Court Street -- the pizza (getting it with garlic is the trick) is some of the best you will eat AND it is just such a New York experience. The cousins (?) who work the floor are out of central casting. The escarole and clams are really good, too. (Oh and it isn't on the menu but the calzone is awesome and big enough to feed an army.)

                            2. c
                              chowbie Jan 14, 2010 07:51 AM

                              I had a foodie friend here a while back and he ate at a lot of places in Bklyn and Manhattan. The place he liked best (ok, aside from Masa) was Franny's.

                              1. f
                                foodismylife Jan 14, 2010 05:50 AM

                                DiFara's for the best pizza in the world
                                fresh not canned artichoke on the sicilian square pie
                                across the street for Isaac's bakery for an ab fab kosher bakery experience
                                the best rainbow cookies in brooklyn
                                Downtown visit Junior's for an amazing experience
                                nice drink prices big portions corned beef and pastrami as well as ginormous desserts and the fabled cheesecake
                                for italian and pizza Franny's 295 Flatbush
                                go to Coney Island and have a frank and fries at Nathan's only one of the venue that's worth a damn
                                enjoy

                                1. Asumnuthin Jan 14, 2010 05:15 AM

                                  My husband and I had a phenomenal meal at Grocery a while back.
                                  288 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11231-4650 (718) 596-3335

                                  You can take the G to Carroll Street… if its going anywhere this weekend
                                  (Im also a greenpointer G person so I understand the deal.

                                  If not you can take the B62 down to DUMBO and check out River Café, a bit pricier but worth it in my opinion.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Asumnuthin
                                    Steve R Jan 14, 2010 05:28 AM

                                    Indian - forget it. Bklyn's not the place. If you must, McDonald Ave off Church St & Coney Island Aves off Newkirk house several places that are small and may be ok.

                                    American - you have choices. Mine, as everyone around here knows, would be Henry's End, especially since they're now in the midst of their game menu. Not cheap but great. Other very nice choices would be Chestnut, Applewood, Buttermilk Channel, Dressler, Marlow and, of course, Peter Luger's for steak.

                                    French - I'm a poor judge of this so I'll leave it to others.

                                    Have fun.

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